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Speedway: Poole Pirates batter Lakeside to take play-off bid to the wire
DOMINANT, imperious and relentless, this was more like the old Wimborne Road glory nights.
In this painstaking season of fluctuating fortunes, it was better late than never. It might be bang on time.
Pirates may yet fail to end their campaign by sneaking into the Elite League silverware shoot-out.
They still require a positive result at Belle Vue and could also be left to rely on outcomes elsewhere.
But on this compelling evidence, none of their rivals will be queuing up to meet them in the play-offs.
Lakeside, who could still beat Poole to the priceless fourth place, simply had no answer here tonight.
If it had been a boxing match, the referee would have called a halt before the contest had even hit halfway.
To be frank, Hammers’ record of two wins in 11 on the road suggested Pirates would enhance their own status.
But few in the crowd, or the Sky Sports television audience, could have predicted such a ruthless battering.
Poole had lost all three of their previous 2013 meetings with Lakeside, but another defeat never looked likely.
It took until the 11th heat for Lakeside to register one of just two victories on a chastening evening for the visitors.
By that stage, Pirates had romped to a 44-16 lead in a 10-race blitz which included no fewer than six 5-1s.
Only Maciej Janowski (5+1) could be accused of under-performing as Pirates posted their most convincing win since the 63-29 hammering of Eastbourne on May 19, 2010.
Big guns Darcy Ward (14+1) and Greg Hancock (12) went unbeaten by opponents as Pirates cantered to 13 wins and a magnificent seven 5-1s, while star man Tomas H Jonasson (11+2) and fast-starting reserve Micky Dyer (7+2) were also excellent.
Ward and Jonasson set the tone by blasting away for the most comfortable of opening-heat maximums.
It was more of the same from Josh Grajczonek and Dyer before Hancock and Rohan Tungate sandwiched ex-Poole skipper Davey Watt.
Dyer produced the gate of the season as he exploded from the traps to win an awarded fourth race, with Hancock and Tungate then defying Chris Harris and tactical rider Watt, much to the crowd’s delight.
The roof was again raised when Ward and Janowski continued the one-way traffic, with the impressive Jonasson and Dyer, then Hancock and Tungate, following up to compound Lakeside’s woes.
Ward and Jonasson continued in the 5-1 club before wounded Hammers finally stopped the rot thanks to Piotr Swiderski, their best performer.
Hancock and Ward took chequered flags before Lewis Bridger salvaged some more pride for the Hammers.
But, fittingly, Ward and Jonasson had the final say to end the night as it had begun – with Pirates in control.
Elite League run-in: Pirates – Belle Vue (a, Sep 9). Lakeside – King’s Lynn (a, Sep 4), Swindon (a, Sep 9). Peterborough – Wolves (h, Sep 9), Belle Vue (h, Sep 16).
Pirates 62: 1 Darcy Ward (3-3-2*-3-3) 14+1, 2 Tomas H Jonasson (2*-1-3-3-2*) 11+2, 3 Greg Hancock (3-3-3-3) 12, 4 Rohan Tungate (1-2*-2*-1*) 6+3, 5 Maciej Janowski (f-3-1*-1) 5+1, 6 Josh Grajczonek (3-0-2-2) 7, 7 Micky Dyer (2*-3-2*-0) 7+2. Team manager: Neil Middleditch.
Hammers 28: 1 Chris Harris (guest) (1-1-0-2-0) 4, 2 Rider Replacement for Sebastian Ulamek, 3 Davey Watt (2-0^-2-0-2-1) 7, 4 Lewis Bridger (0-1*-1-1-3) 6+1, 5 Piotr Swiderski (2-2-1-3-0) 8, 6 Tyson Nelson (1-0-1*) 2+1, 7 Richard Lawson (0-0-1*-0-0-0) 1+1. Team manager: Neil Vatcher.
Elite League points: Poole Pirates 3 Lakeside Hammers 0.
Referee: Mick Bates.
Ht 1: Ward, Jonasson, Harris, Lawson, 59.06 (5-1) Ht 2: Grajczonek, Dyer, Nelson, Lawson, 59.87 (10-2) Ht 3: Hancock, Watt, Tungate, Bridger, 59.44 (14-4) Ht 4: (awarded) Dyer, Swiderski, Lawson, Janowski (fell) (17-7) Ht 5: Hancock, Tungate, Harris, Watt (tactical rider), 60.56 (22-8) Ht 6: Ward, Swiderski, Jonasson, Nelson, 59.72 (26-10) Ht 7: Janowski, Watt, Bridger, Grajczonek, 60.04 (29-13) Ht 8: Jonasson, Dyer, Bridger, Lawson, 60.19 (34-14) Ht 9: Hancock, Tungate, Swiderski, Lawson, 60.84 (39-15) Ht 10: Jonasson, Ward, Bridger, Watt, 60.32 (44-16) Ht 11: Swiderski, Grajczonek, Janowski, Harris, 60.10 (47-19) Ht 12: Hancock, Watt, Nelson, Dyer, 60.18 (50-22) Ht 13: Ward, Harris, Janowski, Swiderski, 60.34 (54-24) Ht 14: Bridger, Grajczonek, Tungate, Lawson, 60.97 (57-27) Ht 15: Ward, Jonasson, Watt, Harris, 60.59 (62-28)
Echo star rider: Tomas H Jonasson
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